April came to me like most of my songs do. A subconscious nudge, some strange guitar tuning, several smoke breaks, and an openness. I find a few chords I like, a strumming pattern, and begin to sing. My mind is blank. I am present and at the mercy of a new song. I remember a phrase and it's accompanying melody that came to me years ago at the beach in Southern CA. "Nothing is sacred anymore". It won't work with the guitar part I am now drawn to. Better change the words and allow for a new melody. Before I know it, verse one is rushing out of me. "Nothing here is sacred / A world in black and white / Drowning in self-hatred / Sometimes I want to die". Time for a smoke. What story is itching to be told? Why such darkness in these words when I feel so content and hopeful in my life? A new line interrupts my thoughts. "Can I get your number?" Oh. Loneliness. "I would like to talk / She thinks I'm up to something / But I'm so alone it hurts / And I want to talk to her". I am still smoking on the fire escape, but as soon as this verse comes to me, I crawl back through the window and rush back to my guitar. Before I know it, a song is born. It feels complete. I'm not entirely sure what the song is communicating, but it feels right. Some insecurity washes over me as I realize the nature of the song is quite early 00's and "emo". I push past as if the insecurity is some punk trying to harass me in a school courtyard. Not more than three days later, I have recorded the song utilizing the only tools I have at my fingertips. Two guitars, a dynamic microphone, a synthesizer, and some simple 808 drum samples. The recording process feels like a fever dream. I honestly don't remember it very much. Quite blurry. Moving quickly, second-guessing very little. Learning a fuck ton about how to record and mix in the process. At some point, it dawns on me that the verses are "flashbacks", while the choruses seem to be expressing my current state. More on this later. I am making mix adjustments like a mad man and sending raw versions of the song to my friends and family. I do this when I'm really excited about something. Which baffles me and makes me laugh a little. I don't particularly enjoy receiving rough material from musical peers. It feels like a chore sometimes. The same way I don't like attending concerts. There's an inherent selfishness which drives me and I've learned to make friends with it. I'm better now at supporting my fellow songwriters and I go to shows to support, but I would rather not do these things. A few friends respond. Lo-rad comes to mind. Zach sends me a message saying he has thoughts. I don't respond. Mom calls me. Her fiancee, Anthony, is on speaker. I catch her up on the song, and as I begin to recite the lyrics of my new song to her, I start to cry. A wave of emotion washes over me. The lyrics are beginning to make more sense to me. She asks me what the lyrics represent to me. I realize I have written a letter to God. In the verses, I am acknowledging the dark mess I made for myself in my addiction (pre-sobriety). In the chorus, I sing "I'm living with the sadness now / And what I really wanna say is how / I was (am) nothing without you". I don't know who God is. But I know there has always been some kindness, goodness, love. Something pointing me inwards. Something with the capacity to heal. Something inviting me into the present moment. Some spiritual fountain that I can draw on when I achieve a sense of humility. That first chorus line communicates my current state quite well. I am now learning how to deal with my emotions. How to live with them. I am running and hiding less. I am facing and dealing more. It's so hard. All I've ever known is how to run. And I did. For a really long time. I was angry at God for what he did to my family. I was so disappointed about my life. I tear up as I write this. But whoever this divine/spiritual force is, that God has been so incredibly patient with and kind to me. Waiting for me to return to my true self and allowing me to wander back into ego, resentment, and fear as I please. I always come back. God always welcomes me. For this reason, I am glad that April ends with the same verse it starts with. I will go there again. I will wander back into the darkness. And I will come back into the light. Over and over until I die. The hope is that over time, I spend less of my life in the dark and more of it in the light. So that's April. I don't yet have a release date as the song is currently being mastered. But it will be out sometime in January. Thank you for reading this. I love you.
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